Apple has agreed to pay out more than $100 million to parents whose children downloaded applications from its online iTunes store without permission, according to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit.
The settlement, which awaits approval from a U.S. District Court judge, says Apple will provide $5 iTunes credit to as many as 23 million customers whose children purchased apps unbeknown to them. Parents who claim $30 or more can receive cash instead of store credit, a filing with the court said.
The lawsuit alleged that Apple offered gaming apps that were "highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of game currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more."
Until recently, the filing said, Apple allowed users, including minors, to buy game currency for up to 15 minutes without re-entering the password. Users could spend $100 or more with one click "without the authorization of their parents, whose credit cards or PayPal accounts are automatically charged for the purchases," the suit said.
The suit was filed by five parents in 2011. A U.S. Northern California District Court judge in San Jose, Calif., will review the settlement Friday.
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